Luckily forewarned that even without a bunad the dress code was formal, I donned a nice skirt and cycled into the bustling town on a wonderfully hot summery day. The crowds on the streets made it hard to even make it into the school, but eventually I forced my way through. The children all looked beautiful in their wee dresses and shirts. We began marching in procession with flag bearers and a brass band at the front.
The 17th of May is Norwegian National Day. In New Zealand a national day might mean a public holiday and not too much more. In Norway the whole population comes out to town to celebrate, dressed in their national costume, the bunad. Its an amazing day and a big part of it is the barnatoget- school childrens' parade. I decided in my role as an assistant teacher at a school in Trondheim the chance to walk in the parade was to good to miss!
The streets were packed, everyone was out to see the parade. It was a cool experience and was an insight into the importance Norwegian society places on the family and children. After the parade Chris and I decided it was time to sneak away and have some more 'sweaty and muddy' fun.
Some great views climbing up Vassfjellet
We cycled over to Vassfjellet (~700m high) for an excellent mountain bike adventure. It took about 1.5 hours to get there via some back roads, then it was a solid 45 minute grunt up a 4wd road to the summit. In the winter this is a ski field. From the top we descended via a series of walking tracks and bogs with some great views towards Trondheim. The tracks were a bit muddy, but relatively bikable, all and all great fun!
On the top of Vassfjellet
The ski field
syttende mai' BBQs in their back yards still wearing their bunads. The feeling I had was of Christmas afternoon in New Zealand, it was a neat feeling and a great day that I won't forget.